1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

O'Hara's Irish Red - Carlow Brewing Company

Not Rated.
O'Hara's Irish RedO'Hara's Irish Red

Educational use only; do not reuse.

362 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 362
Reviews: 195
rAvg: 3.55
pDev: 13.24%
Wants: 16
Gots: 26 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Carlow Brewing Company visit their website

Style | ABV
Irish Red Ale |  4.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: merlin48 on 02-22-2005

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (18) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 362 | Reviews: 195
Photo of cam5759
1/5  rDev -71.8%

Photo of TexIndy
2.21/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a pint glass. No dating info. It was dark brownish red color with some carb streams but no lacing. It had an average sized beige head that very quickly dissipated into a collar with a touch of film.

The aroma was caramel malt, grainy and sweet. Not much there. The taste was bland as well. Starts out weak but OK and then finishes with a unpleasant grainy aftertaste. Bad.

Overall, a bland not much there beer. Honestly not much better than a BMC. Avoid. One and done.


Photo of BGsWo22
2.25/5  rDev -36.6%

Photo of mrasskicktastic
2.25/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 3

A - A clear crimson brew with extremely intense carbonation visibly bubbling. The head is large and long lasting. Hardly any lacing,

S - Smells like Guinness. It has that typical bland dark maltiness with a faint hint of elderberries. A bit of burnt wood too.

T - A bit of a faint burnt malt flavor in the foretaste with a touch of parafin and caramel malts, but there really isn't much to it at all. The aftertaste is a dry faint charcoal like bitterness with a touch of a sour bite.

M - The overzealous carbonation makes it extremely harsh to the point of numbing my tongue. Otherwise it is thin with a slightly waxy / pectin-like texture. It is also drying. Pretty awful.

D - Not that bad, it isn't a good beer, but it is low abv and suitably mild for prolonged drinking. However, it isn't particularly cheap, so I see no reason why I ever would do that. I will pass in the future.

Photo of cvaypai
2.38/5  rDev -33%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle marked 12/04/07.

Poured from bottle to tumbler.

Gift from neighbor because he knew i was into beer.

Appearance - Brown like dirtwater, hint of amber, transparent. 1 finger creamy head. Alright retention.

Smell - Figs, dark fruits, dark malt, caramel?. There is a really weird smell at the end. Almost like vomit.

Taste - Surprisingly watery, sweet with hints of metal. This is not very good. Nutty and coffee come through strong and has your average irish taste.

Mouthfeel - Feels like water in the mouth, its very thin and low alcohol.

Drinkability - There is none, this was enough for me. I could not see myself drinking this beer.

I think this might have been because of the age but this beer was pretty bad.

Photo of Minkybut
2.44/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured this beer from bottle to tumble at 45 degrees. beer was a nice brown color with a rather nice head with fluffy lumpy foam. beer had great lacing. Slighly bready smell. Slight sour note and beer was flat tasting for some reason. Bitter caramel taste with a little hop hit.Tasty down right skunky I thought. I will not buy again.

Photo of mactrail
2.48/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Tastes like the old sod tossed a couple of clods into the brew tub. Reddish cast is undeniable, so we can agree on that. Watery and might possibly be refreshing if you were thirsty enough. Earthy, to put is politely. Less offensive after a few sips when the tongue is numbed a little. Touch of roasted flavor, but it washes very thin. Sharpish with club-soda carbonation.

On tap at the Linkery in San Diego. Overall, it's cheap-tasting swill even for this benighted style. Easy to see why the Irish drink stout on their home turf.

Photo of Didier
2.5/5  rDev -29.6%

Photo of pipinmalikonj
2.5/5  rDev -29.6%

Photo of pinnser
2.5/5  rDev -29.6%

Photo of bark
2.55/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

The colour is dark brown-red (60 EBC), the liquid is clear. The two finger head is beige and compact, it sinks slowly leaving some lacing.

The smell is malty and a bit dry with notes of caramel, milk chocolate and dried red berries. Floral bitterness. Hints of vanilla and boiled vegetables.

The taste is dry with malty notes of caramel, rye bread and dried fruits. Light floral hops and low bitterness. Medium body. The aftertaste got some boiled vegetables/cabbage, brown bread and brown sugar. The finish is smooth with some milk sweetness and chalk.

The carbonation is medium strong, the mid-size bubbles are short-lived. The liquid is semi-smooth.

Shame about the vegetables...

Photo of FireEmt37
2.58/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- nice dark red color, nice head, loses head quickly

S- nothing special here, smells malty without anything else really coming through

T- once again, nothing really stands out, malty taste

M- crisp, little coarse maybe due to over carbonation

D- Falls short of other Irish red ales, dont think I would purchase this beer again

Photo of DaPeculierDane
2.6/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Tapped at Maduro.

A: Deep mahogany, almost purple/red brown. Thick off white head. Quick dissipation. Minimal retention or lacing.

AR: Smokey caramel, roasted malts, red bean ice cream, grilled meat.

T: Burnt skirt steak fresh off the grill covered in caramel sauce.

MF: roasted, toasted, and smoky with mild bitterness. Meaty, yet light.

D: very low. This beer bothered me immensely.

Photo of pmcadamis
2.66/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - A big creamy tan head floats like a fluffy cloud above a deep amber brew that is very much the same tone as the label on the bottle. The head shows really excellent retention, and deposits tons of crusty lace on the glass. The head forms mashed-potato lumps in the middle as it SLOWLY drops to a whipped cream two fingers and stays there. A damn fine looking brew!

S - Caramel and toffee with a hint of sweet orange candy (orange gummy bears). Brown sugar drizzled with maple syrup. If this were only a bit more assertive, it would be outstanding but it seems a bit subdued.

T - Stale fruit cake, brown sugar, and mushy brown bananas. This is well hopped for a red ale, and the dry hay-like herbal hops keep the brown sugar and caramel in check. There are some sour notes that I really don't like, and this is really not doing it for me.

M - Taught, firm, and extremely dry on the hoppy finish. This is light bodied and moderately carbonated with a really tight feel overall.

D - Not terrible, but not very good either. I really can't find any faults other than a vague sour flavor, but I really just don't like this beer all that much.

Photo of Silke_Neryn
2.73/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Shame about the metallic BrewDog-like hops.

Photo of kds2437
2.75/5  rDev -22.5%

Photo of malfunxion
2.75/5  rDev -22.5%

Photo of 6string
2.75/5  rDev -22.5%

Photo of Bluerabbitbell
2.75/5  rDev -22.5%

Photo of rickyleepotts
2.76/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3.25

I see this beer all the time at Total Wine & More, but I never buy it. I am not a huge fan of this style, but from what I have been reading, this is one of the best red ales available. It has to be good… it's an Irish red ale from Ireland. If it's not good, then I will have to order a Guinness when I visit.

We were going to review an IPA today, but since St. Patrick's day is this weekend, I wanted to make sure we had time to review this bottle. Oh, and we got another trade in the mail today. I actually got one yesterday AND today. Yesterday included Mad Elf, a beer on the list, and several beers from the east I had never heard of. Today we got two bottles of Goose Island Bourbon County Stout, which is also on the list. I asked for two bottles because I love the beer, and want to toss one in the cellar for a few years.

The beer trading stuff is an addiction… we are new to it, but I can see why people enjoy it. I love it when the UPS man knocks on the door! Anyway, let's get to the O'Hara's. That is a really low ABV, and while that scares me, I have faith in the flavor. Speaking of a low ABV, I heard William, beer manager at Total Wine in Scottsdale, talking about low ABV beers being a new trend in craft beer. I haven't seen much of that, but I hope he's wrong. I like stronger beers… the higher the ABV the better!

In the Glass: This looks like a traditional red ale. It had a nice thick white head to start, but that quickly became a thin layer of foam on top of the beer. I wonder how big of a difference the temperature makes on this beer. With such a low ABV, I wouldn't think it would get better as it heats up. Maybe. I will let it warm up a bit before I finish it. The beer doesn't have much lace to speak of. This makes me think of George Killian's Irish Red. I hope it's better than that!

Nose: I will warn you, my nose has been stopped up for the last few days. I thought I was getting sick, but I think I am just suffering from allergies. I never had allergies until I moved to Arizona, where I was told allergies didn't exist. Oh well, I can still smell and taste, and that is all that matters. This smells like an Irish red. I haven't had a Killian's in a while, but I remember that smelling better than this. Surely not… let's see what the O'Hara's tastes like.

Flavor: There is a lot more flavor here than in a bottle of Killian's, but the flavor is consistent with the red ale style. Like I said, we are drinking this ice cold… so I am going to let it sit before I take a second or third drink, but I am not impressed with the initial flavor profile here. I AM impressed with the finish and the aftertaste. But we will get to that in a moment.

Mouthfeel: There are a lot of bubbles up front, and as you swallow, the beer really mellows out. It has a nice smooth finish, and leaves a lingering sugary sweet aftertaste. It almost tastes like burnt sugars with a hint of caramel. In regards to the mouthfeel, this is boring and way too carbonated for my liking.

Aftertaste: This is my favorite part of the beer. As soon as you swallow, the aftertaste becomes somewhat drying with a nice sugary sweet finish. Not barleywine sweet, but a nice dark caramel flavor. It lingers, but dries out as you continue to swallow. I would never expect a beer that has such a low ABV to have such a powerful finish.

I am glad that we could drink an Irish beer this week, but I wouldn't order this one again. If this was on draft and I was sitting in a pub in Ireland… maybe. But only because it is a true Irish beer and I would be drinking this IN Ireland. Jeremy and Petulia were recently in Ireland. I wonder if they had any of this while they were there.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
2.91/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Small, sudsy head. Dark ruby/amber color.

S - Crisp smell. Either I was totally plugged up or this beer didn't have a whole lot of any smell. I couldn't get much out of the sent area.

T - Slight bitter action which surrounded a hoppy, malty robust flavor.

M - Dry feel to the finish - tingle of a pretty high amount of carbonation.

D - Good, solid fuller bodied beer that has a good drinkability to it. Not something I'd choose to put back all night though.

Photo of stumac
2.91/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

this brew pours up a beautiful crimson color with a decent white head. decent lacing. the nose is sweet malts, some sort of raw malt aroma, grains I suppose. it has a distinct Scottish/Irish aroma to it. the taste is watered down, bitter malts, very subtle hops, a crisp brew. dry finish. similar mouthfeel to Guinness in the finish. that rhymes. Guinness in the finish, Guinness in the finish, oh ya ya ya...

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.93/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Pours red, a little darker than average, no head.
Aroma was kind of flat beer.

Taste, some slight tang to the ale, but really not much going on. The bitterness prolly isn't desireable in this style of beer. Tastes as if it is a half red, half brown ale blend with the slight nuttiness and subtlety (read: boring) that fans of session beers like. Lacking depth, substance, ingredients it seems.

Photo of combatbootz
2.94/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Unimpressed, looked good, smelled good......then huge disappointment. Lack the real Irish amber flavor. Better than a bud, but rather have a Killians.

Photo of SmellsofMahagony
3/5  rDev -15.5%

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
O'Hara's Irish Red from Carlow Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 362 ratings.